Year review 201903 Jan 2020
Like last year, I’m doing a year-review. This year I focused on Design Systems and research. I wrote 12.427 words in 20 articles. These articles had 6.688 views on Medium and 364 views on my personal-blog (the one you’re looking at now). I enjoyed work, bought a new house and did a lot of stuff that I didn’t share yet 🤫
I specialized myself more into Design Systems. I set up systems at different companies (for work) and wrote three articles on the subject (one, two, three). I went to Patternsday in Brighton and visited TomTom to see how their Design System looks like (and published an article on that).
I created a survey about the State of Design Systems in The Netherlands (for my work - Angi Studio), which resulted in a book (free download)! I also presented the results during Design-System Night (slides and video are still available).
I created a workshop called the “Digital Design Audit” to help companies with creating a backlog for their Design System.
my book 🤩
UI design and User Research
I worked on UX Research: reading many books and articles on the subject and putting in into practice for some of our clients. I wrote an article on analyzing notes for interviews, as I felt a lot of people focus on “how to do interviews”, while note-taking is also very important for qualitative research.
The nerdiest thing I did is write my own surveying software using Jekyll and Markdown. It’s opensource, but the project is stale. I didn’t even use it myself 😅
I taught myself the basics of visual/UI design. I did this through courses and by redesigning 1001ideas (my side-project) about 30 times. The final redesign is not live, so you’ll still be looking at the “old” thing.
I brought UI design and research together in setting up a new visual-design test.
Published eight ideas this year on my crazy ideas blog:
- Pants for Animals · 1001 Ideas
- How to pick a time · 1001 Ideas
- NEIN: an ode to German signs · 1001 Ideas
- Send a Cookie! · 1001 Ideas
- Let’s play a game with the neighbors!
- The Bridge: The world’s first auto-pausing headphones
- Songs about stuff · 1001 Ideas
AI and design
Last year I focused on the theme “AI and Design” and I’m happy to see that topic is now taking off. I went to a conference “explainable AI”, and wrote three articles on using movies and stories as ‘prototyping AI’ (and seeing the impact): one, two, three.
Although I still like the subject, I’ve not gone very much ahead with it anymore - as it’s not coming up in work.
New year, new stuff
I bought a new house! So lots of painting, fixing things, buying things… Also, a new camera!
Blog experimenting and prototyping
I have been ‘nerding’ by writing my own ‘create a maze’-puzzle and solved it. I bitched about Apple Photos (that’s the article that was most-read on my site). I added some things to “Matthijs Recommends”.
I helped several people with random Axure-questions, and I loved doing that, just email me if you have questions!
I discovered Glide and created some apps in minutes. Love it.
Last year I hoped to continue doing photography, experimenting and prototyping. I managed that 😇 I also discovered a new hobby: dancing with my daughter.
I also tried to have a more relaxed attitude, which helped with the above!
What’s up for 2020
2020 is a busy year: I’m expecting a 2nd kid and that’s why I’m expecting not a lot of other things 😇
I hope to at least publish some stuff that’s nearly finished 😅. But most importantly, for 2020 I hope stay in the same happy state I’m in now.